Question: Dr. Smith, an orthopedic surgeon, has come to you as CEO of the hospital in which he performs man…

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Jun 13, 2022

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Question: Dr. Smith, an orthopedic surgeon, has come to you as CEO of the hospital in which he performs man…

by | Jun 13, 2022 | Questions & Answers


Dr. Smith, an orthopedic surgeon, has come to you as CEO of the
hospital in which he performs many of his total knee replacement
procedures. Dr. Smith is concerned about a series of events that
occurred during and after one of the cases he performed
approximately one week ago. Dr. Smith shares with you that while in
the OR suite, one of the scrub techs who is an employee of the
hospital, dropped a retractor on the floor and proceeded to use it
before the surgeon could stop him. Dr. Smith shares that other than
that event, all other aspects of surgery were normal and there were
no issues noted in the post-anesthesia care unit. Subsequently,
when the patient arrived on the surgical floor, the nurse
administered a blood thinner medication that was prescribed for a
different patient. This blood thinner was not on Dr. Smith’s
patient’s medication administration record and had not been ordered
for this patient.

Dr. Smith tells you that he is concerned about the retractor
incident because the patient presented to his office earlier today
for follow-up with symptoms that appear to be an infection at the
surgical site. He is concerned about the need for up to six weeks
of intravenous antibiotic treatment and possibly having to redo the
total knee with a new joint. Dr. Smith also informs you that he did
not know of the blood thinner issue until the patient told him
today about how the “body builder” nurse had informed her not to
say anything about the error if she “didn’t want to stay longer
than necessary.” The patient went on to tell Dr. Smith that she
felt this was a threat against her and she was extremely afraid the
rest of her hospitalization and does not want any further treatment
at your facility.

Your job as CEO is to analyze the information you have just been
given and to share that information with the hospital’s board. You
are also to determine if the hospital’s policy for insurance will
provide coverage for the potential claims that may come from the
patient. You should analyze each of the three issues independently
(dropped retractor, blood thinner administration, and nurse
interaction), explaining briefly what the issue is, what area of
tort law it would fall within, and primarily focus your analysis on
the ability of the insurance policy to provide coverage. Remember
that to have an intentional tort, the actor must intend to cause
harm to the person injured. Even if you determine that there are no
damages, since you never know what a jury would do, you should
include in your analysis your reasoning for why or why not
insurance coverage may be available. Also include in your answer
how any portion of your analysis regarding insurance coverage might
be changed if your facility was self-insured to a limit of $2
million and had a commercial excess coverage policy. To support
your analysis, and to further gain the support of the board, you
should include at least one outside reference in your report. Your
analysis should be no more than 600 words.
You must cite AT LEAST ONE outside source in your work. All
sources, including course materials, must be cited in text in APA
style. Remember that course materials need not be included
in your references page, but all other references must
be.

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